In my house, we sing a song at this time of year.
Christmas is coming
The papers getting fat!
According to my local newspapers, it’s nearly The Holidays! There are ads – sometimes entire special sections of ads – for fabulous jewels, awesome toys, and tech gadgets from the future. By an amazing coincidence there are also feature articles about fabulous jewels, awesome toys, and tech gadgets from the future.
Why? Are trick-or-treaters exceptionally lucky for Halloween this year?
No, it’s because Christmas in only 12 weeks away. And Chanukah is even sooner.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of these holidays. Oh, I’m as greedy as the next person, so I like to get presents. And I do love my family and friends, and enjoy the opportunity to get together and share some good times.
However, I resent my feelings being used to save capitalism. I don’t like the news stories that imply that if I don’t buy enough crap for these beloved families and friends, then the economy will collapse, proving I don’t care about them enough.
This year, luckily there is something else I can do. I can buy something that is not just a beautiful object, but also a force for good. The War Resisters League 2010 Peace Calendar this year is about poster art and design. Titled Sparking Change: Poster Art and Politics it is both useful and inexpensive.
How gorgeous is it? The calendar features 52 posters from artists young and old from around the world. The images address issues including stopping the war in the Middle East, saving the environment, improving workers’ lives, and equal rights for women. Edited by celebrated artist Luba Lukova, the calendar contains work by Fang Chen (China), Lex Drewinski (Germany)Aleksandra Nina Knezevic (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Chaz Maviyane-Davies (Zimbabwe), Yossi Lemel (Israel), Parisa Tashikori (Iran), Peter Kuper (USA), Felipe Galindo (Mexico) and many more.
In her foreword, Lukova writes, “Does art really change anything? I do believe so…It is impossible for art to fix a declining economy or stop all wars, but art changes the way people see and understand reality. And if as artists we often lose faith in the impact of our work, those in power are quite aware of it.”
That’s pretty good for $14.95, isn’t it? Just the thing for your cousins, your friends at work, the hostess at the big party. If you know people who are students of art and design, that’s even better. Order more than four, and they get even cheaper.
More to the point, the sale of these calendars benefits the War Resisters League, the nation’s oldest and most respected secular pacifist organization. Peace is what we’re supposed to celebrate at this time of year, no matter what religion we do – or don’t – believe. You know, “Peace on Earth/Good Will to All.”
So why not give some? Trust me, it’s something no one will return.